Outside Dobies - Can Doberman's Truly Be Outside Dogs? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Outside Dobies - Can Doberman's Truly Be Outside Dogs?

Hello Everyone,

Background: My dobies back at home are outside dogs. My mom hates having dogs inside the house. We "recently" purchased a new dobie , Hercules, and he has been a handful for them. He's about 8 months already, so he got the boot--he can't be stolen anymore. He's now outside with the other dobie (5 years old), Zeus. HOWEVER, the young one has been causing chaos in the yard. My mom fixed up the yard with brand new plants a few months before letting him out. Hercules has destroyed it all. He's ripped up the plants, dug out the mulch, and taken out the plastic that goes under the mulch.

The older one, Zeus, is well mannered. He doesn't destroy. He doesn't pounce on people. When Zeus sees the Hercules bothering my sister or try to jump on my mom in the morning, Zeus will slam down Hercules or just stay at my mom or sisters side while they walk through the yard. My secret, though, is that my sister and I used to sneak Zeus into the house when I lived there and he would chill with us while my mom slept and we did homework. My sister goes out everyday to play with them, but Hercules doesn't get the special privilege of sneaking into the house like Zeus did when he was young. Plus, if my sister sneaks in Hercules, Zeus has to come in as well--one dobie was hard to keep quiet. Now with 2, she always gets caught bringing them in.

Question: Anyway, what's the issue here? Is he being destructive because he feels like he was thrown out. Does he feel abandoned? Is it a lack of attention? They have tons of running space for physical activity. They aren't stimulated mentally, but that has never been an issue with the older dobie.

Zeus - 5 years old

Zeus by Rolando Alvarado, on Flickr

Hercules - ~8 months old

Hercules by Rolando Alvarado, on Flickr
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 11:18 AM
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Not an expert here, but I'm sure they will be here soon I would say that most dobies would not do well outside. Besides their lack of thick hair, they are people-dogs. I have to coerce my boy with a treat so he will actually go outside to potty if it is raining or snowing, and he doesn't even let me go back inside by myself to grab another treat so we can do training in the yard. I see that you are in TX. so that might be a little different...better weather than MN, but it could be that he is feeling a little abandoned and doesn't like to be separated from his people, combined with being a puppy that likes to eat plants/dig etc.

"Money can buy a lot of things, but it doesn't wiggle its butt every time you walk in the door."

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 11:41 AM
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He's under stimulated and untrained, is my guess. Does your sister actually train them, or just toss a ball around for a few minutes? Do the get walked, or are they always stuck in the back yard? Do the dogs have anything to play with besides the landscaping?

And FYI, same sex aggression is pretty common in the breed, especially between males. As Hercules approaches maturity, things could get very dicey.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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First off, your signature's quote ("Money can buy a lot of things, but it doesn't wiggle its butt every time you walk in the door."), might be one of the best things I've ever read! lol

Second, they live in the Rio Grande Valley--literally 20-30min from the border--so it almost never gets cold. But this last week we got SNOW! It was pretty cool. It had been about 11 years since that area had snow. The dobies stay in the garage with blankets when it gets too cold outside. I'm not sure if they put them inside when it snowed instead of the garage. Last winter, it was super cold (no snow) only twice that I can recall. Every time my sister feels a chill she puts them into the garage.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
He's under stimulated and untrained, is my guess. Does your sister actually train them, or just toss a ball around for a few minutes? Do the get walked, or are they always stuck in the back yard? Do the dogs have anything to play with besides the landscaping?

And FYI, same sex aggression is pretty common in the breed, especially between males. As Hercules approaches maturity, things could get very dicey.
I somewhat trained Zeus. Hercules hasn't received any training whatsoever. I bought my sister a clicker to train him, but I doubt she's gotten far with that pup. They have balls and tug toys. The yard is fenced in with hurricane fencing that goes all around the house. The front fence has no more grass where they run side to side when someone walks by. At each front corner is a ramp made of dirt that accumulated from them "braking." Also, when she goes outside, I think she tends to sit more with them and just pet them than actually play ball.

Their vet advised against getting another male, but my sister still went ahead and purchased Hercules. She didn't think it was going to be much of an issue, but she says that they fight super aggressively when she goes to hangout with them. Vet said to neuter the puppy so he loses sense of dominance. My mom does not want the dogs to undergo any type of procedure, though.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:07 PM
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Neutering one or even both of them won't make any difference. If they are already fighting, things are just going to go downhill. There is a good chance that one will seriously injure, or even kill, the other one. And yes, that really does happen. A friend of mine had one of her dogs kill her partner's dog, who he'd lived with for three years, a few months ago, and they are still dealing with the trauma.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:25 PM
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1st of all what a cute pup!!! Beautiful!
My opinion is this it would be no different than leaving a small child to grow up on its own with little guidance or supervision naturally this would spell trouble for everyone involved.
And poor Zeus....hes sounds like a great old guy having to tolerate this uneducated pup.
Sounds like your Mom needs to re-evaluate the decision of housing another dog and If she opts to keep the pup then as a family they need to approach training. Holidays are approaching, so this would be good time for you to have a one on one conversation with all of the family about this situation.
Hopefully they will go the distance.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:34 PM
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This is unfortunate. Dobermans are an inside breed- not just because of their short coat and lack of doing well in cold or hot climates, but because they were bred as personal protectors and need their human by their side as much as possible. IMO if you want outside dogs, get a livestock guardian breed and make sure they have a job to do out there (like guarding livestock )

I will echo the others who've brought up male-male aggression and this new boy is destructive because he has no other way to release his frustration. I think your mom is asking for trouble with two boys. She needs to take them both to obedience class and put in much more effort to keep them properly stimulated, both physically and mentally.

The best I can suggest is maybe you can set a good example for her with your pup being an indoor dog. If she sees how much better it is for the dogs and for you she will come around. Good luck.

BTW Hercules looks like he's more like 6 months old.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 01:18 PM
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Hi Hera!

I am going to be blunt here. Please don't take offense.

The situation you describe is a potential nightmare. First of all, Dobermans absolutely need a lot of human interaction to be happy. They do poorly when kept outside devoid of everything that a Dobe needs to be happy and heathy.

Also... Same sex aggression is a very real and deadly problem with Dobermans. I have several times owned two males in the same household. I have had it be fine, tolerable and the pet household from hell. One never knows. However, the fact that that they are "fighting" leads me to believe that this may be a really bad idea. Granted, for those not used to the Dobe style of rough and tumble play, really rambunctious play can look like fighting. But it's not. Seeing two Dobermans trying to kill each other is one of the scariest things that one could ever witness. I have been there. If they were actually fighting one or both would be maimed. Yet, it is very possible, that at some point this rough style of play may lead to an all out fight to the death.

i let our 2 boys play, But NEVER unsupervised. If their play gets too rough, I intervene before it escalates. They are never left alone together.

So... Is your sister capable enough to do this? Can she "read" a Dobe well enough to recognize when it's time to step in. Is she physically capable of "stepping in"?

As Rosemary stated, castrating either on or both of these boys will probably not make a bit of difference in deterring SSA among 2 Dobe males. Basically, it is innate in some dogs. It takes only one to be the aggressor. The other however will have to enter the fray as his self protection instincts come into play.

The bottom line, Hera, is: No to outdoor Doberman living situations and... No to a two male household run by people who don't really have the experience, training or dedication.

You know me... I am not referring to you obviously. But your mother and sister have made, IMO, some poor decisions.

John
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:11 PM
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We are building a fully functioning outdoor kennel with our leftover building materials from our shop, with space for two dogs, heat/ac, automatic water feeders, and indoor/outdoor areas, but our dogs will never be "outdoor" dogs. Our kennel will have the same purpose as a crate. For when we need to leave the house, and are unable to take the dog. (IE, dinner dates which rarely happen, weddings which are also rare, and days my SO cannot take the dog to work). Other than those rare times, our doberman will be with one of us 24/7.

Velcro dogs really need a lot of human interaction, and that is just hard to do when they are outside 99% of the time.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 03:22 PM
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@ Chesa

When I was forced to "Crate and Rotate" years ago. I did exactly the same thing. Having a dog "outdoors" is not a bad thing if the dog still gets the love and attention they need and desire. My dogs never spent more than 8 hours in the kennel. In fact When one of the boys was kenneled outside, he went with our little Peke/Cocker mix (female). All dogs loved to go out. Of course, they loved coming in!

We called it "The Switch". Very difficult, but a nice, large, secure, warm kennel made it palatable.

Obviously, what you are talking about is a plus for the dog. Very far removed for what Here was referencing.

Sounds like a plan!

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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My family would be devastated if anything were to happen to Zeus. I've been in a constant argument with them about letting the dogs come in to be with the family. I think it's due to the way she was raised. Dobermans smother people and she's not used to it. But it's kind of a "duh" moment. If you have a dog outside all the time, they're going to be dirty all the time. You can't expect a clean dog under those circumstances.

The most that I have seen them fight was when I went home to pick up Hera. We were outside with her and Hercules got close to her. Out of nowhere, Zeus came over, shoved him, threw him down, and bit his ear. Hercules yelped and then just sat there dazed. I remember when they Hercules was younger and we would let him out to play with Zeus--Zeus would be laying down and Hercules would be hyped up tugging at Zeus' ears.

No blood has been shed. I've also seen Hercules stand up to the neighbors new dog when it looked like it was going at Zeus--Zeus was walking on the side of the gate. My sister bought Hercules, so Zeus could have a friend. She didn't expect them to fight. She's also a sophomore in high school, so her knowledge on the breed is limited (especially back then when they purchased Hercules). My knowledge is barely growing thanks to this forum. The only thing we knew was that Zeus was a doberman and his love for us was astonishing. That's why they went through and got another doberman. Even now, Hercules might be a pain in the butt, but his loyalty to my sister is undeniable.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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@ Chesa

When I was forced to "Crate and Rotate" years ago. I did exactly the same thing. Having a dog "outdoors" is not a bad thing if the dog still gets the love and attention they need and desire. My dogs never spent more than 8 hours in the kennel. In fact When one of the boys was kenneled outside, he went with our little Peke/Cocker mix (female). All dogs loved to go out. Of course, they loved coming in!

We called it "The Switch". Very difficult, but a nice, large, secure, warm kennel made it palatable.

Obviously, what you are talking about is a plus for the dog. Very far removed for what Here was referencing.

Sounds like a plan!

John
Portland OR

That sounds like a cool idea. Put them in the kennel and rotate. Even better would be to rotate dogs in the house. They would just need a couch inside strictly for them.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 06:31 PM
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I've done crate and rotate. It's not as easy as it sounds.


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 06:36 PM
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Why have dobes if you don't want to be smothered by them. Isn't that kind of the point? ;-)
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-12-2017, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
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@ Chesa

When I was forced to "Crate and Rotate" years ago. I did exactly the same thing. Having a dog "outdoors" is not a bad thing if the dog still gets the love and attention they need and desire. My dogs never spent more than 8 hours in the kennel. In fact When one of the boys was kenneled outside, he went with our little Peke/Cocker mix (female). All dogs loved to go out. Of course, they loved coming in!

We called it "The Switch". Very difficult, but a nice, large, secure, warm kennel made it palatable.

Obviously, what you are talking about is a plus for the dog. Very far removed for what Here was referencing.

Sounds like a plan!

John
Portland OR
When I first mentioned it when I joined here, I caught a lot of flack for that. People assumed I wanted a dog to leave outside 24/7. It was hard to word it so they understood, but it seems I have done better this time. Lol. I just want my dog to be able to walk around and have access to fresh water while I am not able to be there. Which honestly, I am about as homebody as it gets. Lol.

Quote:
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Why have dobes if you don't want to be smothered by them. Isn't that kind of the point? ;-)
This made me laugh. Our couch has a small gap in between the two seats that my SO and I sit on. We keep joking that we are buying a Doberman instead of buying new furniture, just to fill the gap in the couch. Lol we already know that we are going to have to get us to sharing the couch with him.

For a while I was considering not letting the dog up on the couch, but sometimes, I just wanna lay back and cuddle. Haha. Its old yucky furniture anyway.


Hera, perhaps there is a room in the house that the dogs could be designated to? It would take training and patience, but atleast they would be allowed in. My parents don't let their dogs anywhere past the kitchen. Their Rottweiler knows he is not allowed to set food on the hardwood.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-12-2017, 10:02 AM
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This is an indoor breed period. They were bred to be personal protection not yard protection - their single layer coat is not suited to extremes in temperature - not just cold temps but also hot temps as well. I personally do not understand why someone gets a dog and then puts it outside to live.

An 8 month old puppy is an idiot dog on wheels - destroying the yard is just par for the course. Puppies should be supervised at all times and crated when they can't be watched. You are lucky that he has not died of an obstruction yet - but give him time and he may. He should be going to obedience class, living indoors, and being loved on.

Also, the elephant in the house is the aggression you are already seeing - it will get worse and one or both of the dogs will be severely injured or killed at some point. Same sex aggression is a real thing in the breed.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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It seems these last 2 weeks they've been behaving very well together. My sister says they rarely fight.

Unfortunately, as said, the garage did not provide sufficient coverage during the snow and now, Hercules is sick. Since they have to come up for my graduation, they left him with the vet to continue his treatment back at home. I doubt that my mother will see the error of her ways. If she wishes to continue paying for expensive vet visits because she chooses to not let the dogs in, then so be it. As for me, Hera stays inside.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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HELP with Hercules' new habit

So apparently, Hercules is back and in full health. Parents are now considering making my old room into a room that the doberman's can stay in. BUT Hercules has picked up a bad habit. Last night, my parents informed me that he was humping Zeus. That he would lick his privates and wouldn't leave Zeus alone. He was apparently exposed to 2 other dogs while at the vet. What could be the reason for this behavior? Neither dog has ever humped anything.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hera View Post
So apparently, Hercules is back and in full health. Parents are now considering making my old room into a room that the doberman's can stay in. BUT Hercules has picked up a bad habit. Last night, my parents informed me that he was humping Zeus. That he would lick his privates and wouldn't leave Zeus alone. He was apparently exposed to 2 other dogs while at the vet. What could be the reason for this behavior? Neither dog has ever humped anything.
Not an expert, but my pup was playing with some of our neighbor's dogs in the park, and all the sudden mounted their approx. 7 month husky and humped him right in the face...nothing really came of it, and so I just assumed that it was some kind of play type move. If it gets to the point where Zeus is getting too annoyed with it and appears to want to "do something about it", they should be separated immediately so it doesn't go farther IMO. Your parents likely won't be able to stop a fight if one starts, and you don't want an injured (or worse) pup on your hands.

For now I would tell you to have them stay on top of it, and try to redirect Hercules to something else when he starts pestering Zeus. Make sure that they are watching at all times when the two are together, and separate them at the first sign of trouble. Not sure if the other dogs at the vet would have had anything to do with it, unless maybe they showed him how to do it?

Glad that your parents are considering bringing them inside.

"Money can buy a lot of things, but it doesn't wiggle its butt every time you walk in the door."

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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 01:40 PM
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Humping other dogs is not necessarily a sex thing; it can be part of normal play. But it is also one way dogs establish their place in the hierarchy--who ranks ahead of who. A teenage dog who is trying to figure out his place in the world is likely to try this behavior with other dogs. It basically is rude behavior on the part of the young dog, and most other dogs will put him in his place, either at first, or later when they decide it is too much to tolerate.


The problem here is that you’re looking at two male dogs, one a teenager, in a breed that has a tendency to same sex aggression, living in the same household. This kind of “sparring” to decide who is the boss is very likely to degenerate into out-and-out fighting, because neither dog will want to back down. That is major trouble, not to be dealt with by the “casual” dog owner, who expects dogs to adapt to whatever lifestyle they are presented with--outdoor, indoor, multiple dog household, other pets present, perhaps limited attention (which is a problem for dobes), and so on...

Two male dobes in the same household are likely to need extra effort just to be able co-exist. They are not likely to ever be best buds. Bluntly, it just doesn’t sound to me like your family back home has enough specialized dog experience to know how to keep these two dogs together safely. That may involve a lot more effort to tailor their lifestyle to this particular dog’s needs than they had expected, and more than they are currently prepared to give.

And frankly, continuing on as they are currently doing is really not an option. Perhaps you can put together some good information for them to see.

This article might help them understand the humping issue:
http://www.labadoption.org/info/file?file=16316.pdf

This forum has put together some links about same-sex aggression:
https://www.dobermantalk.com/dt-educa...ggression.html

And then maybe encourage a family talk to discuss what adjustments they are willing to make so that family life runs smoothly for everyone (including the dogs themselves).

Last edited by melbrod; 12-18-2017 at 02:09 PM.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 12:08 AM
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Sad situation all the way around. Research would have helped immensely. Two males already fighting. An owner that does not want the dogs in the house. People that are lacking the knowledge and the experience to handle these problems. I see a bomb going off and very likely some one or some dog is going to have a lot of damage inflicted. I have broken up some dog fights that I don't care to ever experience again. And I have handling experience. I don't think this family is aware of the work that a Doberman requires. Perhaps rehoming these dogs to an experienced family that is familiar with Dobermans or a rescue that is familiar with dobies would be the best choice for the dogs.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 01:18 PM
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I know TX can get too cold but defiantly too hot. Being black dogs they can over heat. I totally agree the dogs must be obedience trained. This will give the dog confidence and will cut down on the destruction. Find a training that will also include your sister. She needs to know how to handle the dogs. If she can't take the time for this then for the good of BOTH dogs there is a great rescue grow named "Doberman Rescue of North Texas. I got one of my Dobes from them and they will go above and beyond to take care of your dog.

For the sake of the dogs please don't let this go. They will kill each other because know one has done the necessary training and care that is critical for ownership of a large breed. Your sister or mother could get hurt trying to break up a fight.
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